The Question Mark: Chapter 17

Chapters:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17

This week’s chapter title is rather fitting to a recurring theme in this story: death. Both Meryl and Sniper Wolf have been written dead in previous chapters, but it’s interesting to see what’s happened to them since. Seeing that (alive) Meryl murdered Wolf, you should be asking where does that leave Wolf? The title also refers to Nastasha, who was just found in pieces in her cabin, and Mei Ling’s fear of meeting a similar fate. All in all, this chapter is dedicated to all the women in the story who are currently in peril.

Disclaimer: The main story contains violent scenes that some younger readers may find disturbing. Many chapters contain detailed scenes of gore and peril. If you haven’t played the Metal Gear series, there will be spoilers in this story. If you haven’t read the previous chapters, just select the chapter number you want to read below.

She Who Died

“Mei Ling?… Mei Ling?!”

“What is it?” Otacon asked.

Snake shuffled towards Hal. He looked nervous.

“I’m not supposed to tell you, as this information is classified…”

Otacon stared at Snake, expecting him to continue. Snake knew Otacon would know his team in the future, so it wouldn’t make any difference to tell him now.

“The team in my ear. They’ve been sabotaged. But what I don’t understand is one thing someone..”

“Mei Ling?”

“…yes. She said to me that the ‘Colonel is not the Colonel’.”

“…and who’s the Colonel?”

“My boss.”

“Hmm. What do you think it means?”

“I have no idea.”

“Maybe he’s taken something. You know, like a sedative. Maybe he went crazy.”

“That’s not like how I remember the Colonel.”

Snake focussed. Fate had a sense of irony.

“Otacon, do you think you could do a trace on where the Colonel is calling me from?”

“Why? Do you…”

“Just do it.”

“Well I can’t. I’d need some tech.”

“Use your optic camouflage then, and grab yourself a computer.”

Otacon looked frustrated.

“Well if you hadn’t been busy being unconscious, you would have realised that I handed my stealth to Meryl, so she could stop the woman who gunned you down.”

“Why did you stutter just then?”

“What?”

“You stuttered. Just before the word ‘woman’, you paused.”

“I… that lady shouldn’t just be name-tagged with ‘the woman’.”

“Do you love her?”

Otacon blushed.

“No. Of course not. She wanted to murder me. I just think we should treat any dead person with respect.”

Snake gave up trying to piece together Otacon’s thoughts, and stood up. The dying blizzard hit both men as they opened the door to the outside. There wasn’t much left of the door but a scrap of metal, which slid open slowly.

“Stay here.” Snake instructed.

He lay on the ground and shuffled through the doorway. He had no rifle to explore the surrounding area in detail, but he still tried with his naked eyes. The passing wind caused them to water, but he continued to look nevertheless. Sniper Wolf was here. Although her hiding spot was terrible.

Snake could make out a figure lying on the ground in the middle of the snow-covered field. Wolf wasn’t making use of the trees surrounding the perimeter. She just lay there. A dark figure in the distance. Waiting.

“Wolf is here.”

Hal stepped through the door and walked out into the field.

“What the hell are you doing? I said stay inside! Get down!”

“Snake, Wolf is dead.”

“No she isn’t. Trust me, she isn’t.”

Hal continued to walk forwards into the field.

“Oh my!” Otacon exclaimed.

“I said get down!”

Otacon ran into the field, closer to Wolf. His image grew fainter as the flakes of falling snow between himself and Snake hazed the view between them. Snake expected a gunshot.

But everything was silent.

Snake had no weapon. Lying on the ground wouldn’t help. If Wolf knew they were here, then it was already too late. He stepped out into the white clouds of snow, into the field.

“Otacon?!” He repeatedly yelled, to the reply of his own echo.

Crying.

Otacon was kneeling over Wolf’s body, his tears dampening her frosty clothing as her face had turned a stone cold white, and begun to ice over. She lay limp in his arms as he brought her closer to him, his fingers running through her blood-stained golden hair. She had no gun. There was no threat. Drag marks in the snow beginning at her head proved that she wasn’t living when she first arrived. Her body had simply been dragged into the middle of the field and left. She had been dragged by her feet. There was no decency in the manner that she had been moved.

Snake followed the drag marks, leaving Otacon with the body. The imprints continued for twenty feet from the sniper’s final resting place, and just ended. The drag mark just ended. There was no sign of any footprint, vehicle, animal… It was as if her body had been dropped from above, and dragged the rest of the way. Only that whoever had dragged her hadn’t left any marks to show how they had left.

The codec rang.

[Elsewhere on the facility]

“Did you know Raven is alive?”

“…”

“Solid Snake killed him.”

“…”

Meryl stared at Liquid through narrowed eyelids.

“Co-operate, Meryl.”

Her throat gargled, and she sniffed hard, pulling phlegm to the back of her throat. With the power of her neck and tongue, she forced the spit and blood from her scarred mouth onto Liquid’s burnt shirt. He sighed.

“I know nothing.”

Blood glistened on her teeth, and trickled from her lips. Her bare body shivered in the cold underground air.

“You’ll talk eventually. Everyone does down here.”

“…”

Liquid slapped Meryl across her face. Scars from the bullet wound to the cheek stretched and tore searing pain across her lower jaw. She screamed through gritted teeth.

“Scratch my nose for me. I’ve got an itch.” she spoke sarcastically.

Meryl was bound to an old wooden chair. What was once neat gloss had cracked and revealed small shards of splintered wood. Small movements cut her bare legs, which were tied to the chair legs. She still wore her underwear, but it had become a dusty and tainted white, beginning to blend with the muddy stains of her aching skin.

Slamming the woman into the top of the elevator shaft seemed to not have affected her ability to move her joints. However, Liquid never saw Meryl’s left arm bent backwards. She had sat on top of the elevator, trapped between two walls of metal. Her screams of tears were only heard by herself as she had snapped her arm back into place, falling back to the steel grating, knowing all too well that three toes needed to be realigned before she could escape. Liquid had found an unconscious Meryl. All joints intact.

This didn’t stop them from hurting now. Tied up to splintered wood, her arm ached behind her while Liquid eyed her bleeding body.

“You know the future?”

Meryl remained silent.

“It’s alright, Meryl. No-one can hear us.”

“…only the immediate future.”

“Got Mantis stuck in your mind? Hmm?” Liquid’s talking was aggressive.

“Untie me.”

“Tell me. Am I going to untie you?”

Meryl looked down at her trembling legs. Her knees moved together in an attempt to conceal her body. Solid Snake’s brother was unclipping his belt.

“That’s right. We missed an engagement didn’t we?”

Meryl began to cry. She coughed with tears, blood splashing out from her mouth onto the gritty dirt beneath her.

“… No… No!” she shouted.

Liquid forcefully removed his belt from his trousers.

“…Please!” Tears were streaming down her face.

“Shut up.” Liquid spat as he kicked the chair backwards, causing Meryl’s arms to click under the pressure of the falling chair. She screamed hard in pain.

“Snake!” She cried. “Anyone?! Help me… please!!”